Jung on the importance of archetypes.

What are archetypes? How do they function?What is misunderstood about archetypes?

Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby Hermit » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:31 pm

In the same way that the body needs food, and not just any kind of food but only that which suits it, the psyche needs to know the meaning of its existence-not just any meaning, but the meaning of those images and ideas which reflect its nature and which originate in the unconscious. The unconscious sup
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby Hermit » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:14 pm

John Ferric wrote:Whether he understands them or not, man must remain conscious of the world of archetypes, because in it he is still a part of Nature and is connected to his own roots. A view of the world or a social order that cuts him off from the primordial images of life not only is no culture at all but, in an increasing degree is a prison or a stable. If the primordial images remain conscious in one form or another, the energy that belongs to them can flow freely into man...I am far from wishing to belittle the divine gift of reason, man's highest faculty. But in the role of absolute tyrant, it has no meaning-- no more than light would have in a world where its counterpart, darkness, is absent...the rational is counterbalanced by the irrational, and what is planned and purposed by what is. (C. G. Jung, Symbols of transformation. , p. 23)


I think it worth noting that Jung still evaluated reason as being a dominant factor even in his knowledge of the use of the irrational faculties of humanity. Without reason and rationality, the irrational becomes, to a degree, useless and even dangerous. Without rationality, humankind has no means by which to interpret the unconscious and the ego remains vulnerable to the unconscious. One could potentially even interpret the Old Testament as humankind's inability to make rational the irrational behavior of the Self archetype, or the God within.

It seems that more than a few people get caught in the unconscious for lack of rational interpretation. Oppositely, many get disconnected from the energies of life by not coming into contact with the unconscious.

I think many, including myself, get frightened of disobeying the unconscious through rational interpretation. In that, the fear probably isn't so different than fear of a tyrant. If we are to give up our means of making sense of the unconscious, then how are we to ever make conclusions about it?
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:55 pm

At the end of "Psychological Types" Jung provides a list of "Definitions." Among them is his definition of the term "irrational." I am not convinced he used this particular definition of irrational in all of his writings - what do you think? The attached pdf contains Jung's definition of irrational.

Irrational.pdf
Jung's Def. of irrational.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby Hermit » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:55 pm

John Ferric wrote:At the end of "Psychological Types" Jung provides a list of "Definitions." Among them is his definition of the term "irrational." I am not convinced he used this particular definition of irrational in all of his writings - what do you think? The attached pdf contains Jung's definition of irrational.

Irrational.pdf


He includes anything that lies outside the province of reason as irrational. This can include different things. It can include, for example, facts of the psyche as a dream or archetype because they simply exist therefore reason or feeling do not "call" them into existence. It can also include an accident because we cannot come to any rational explanation that aptly explains it. Sense and Intuition are irrational because one observes the outer world of facts and the latter observes the inner world of facts. Since they merely observe, they lie outside the province of rationality.

To answer your question there are different things that qualify as irrational. An emotion is irrational because it simply exists. It may have an underlying reason for existing, but an emotion, itself, is an affect that, in its essence, is irrational. We cannot say that sadness is, in essence, any more rational than the existence of rain. We can say rain exists to feed the crops, but we are merely postulating about the rain. The rain is a fact of reality and that fact lies outside the province of reason. It does not owe its existence to your reason deciding that it is there.

That does not, however, mean that something that is irrational in nature, for example, an archetype, cannot be subjected to reason. It simply means that the archetype, itself, does not owe its existence to reason or can it be reasoned out of existence in such a way that modernists hope to get rid of the irrational FACTS of the psyche by merely conquering them afield with reason. It is one thing to apply reason to a dream that one is interpreting; it is another to expect the triumph of reason to simply make the dream disappear. The latter is actually a magical belief in the power of reason. This is why Jung had such a problem with rationalists believing that the rational side of humanity will at some point extinguish its irrational side.

Not all problems have rational solutions meaning that reason does not need to be applied. This does not mean that the application of reason to facts of the psyche is unwise; although, it may not be the correct solution.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:15 am

Well, well those old patterns, here is something you might want to consider:
“. . . Every culture therefore lives by myth. Or, if the culture remains mostly unconscious, the culture is lived by its myth. This latter is the case in all primitive and most modern cultures. Their myths go unidentified because they are considered to be ‘truths,’ ‘self-evident facts,’ ‘scientific facts,’ ‘common sense,’ ‘universal values,’ or are quite unconscious.”

Gerald H. Slusser, in his essay “Jung and Whitehead On Self and Divine, The Necessity for Symbol and Myth,” found in the book “Archetypal Process, Self and Divine in Whitehead, Jung and Hillman.”


As a "culture" of one, one might consider what "myth" is living me?
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:00 pm

Not to worry "the mermaid," you post anywhere you want. This might provide some insight into what the Priest says in your post
Problems thus draw us into an orphaned and isolated state where we are abandoned by nature and are driven to consciousness. There is no other way open to us; we are forced to resort to conscious decisions and solutions where formerly we trusted ourselves to natural happenings. Every problem, therefore, brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also the necessity of saying goodbye to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature. This necessity is a psychic fact of such importance that it constitutes one of the most essential symbolic teachings of the Christian religion. It is the sacrifice of the merely natural man, of the unconscious, ingenuous being whose tragic career begin with the eating of the apple in Paradise. The biblical fall of man presents the dawn of consciousness as a curse. And as a matter of fact it is in this light that we first look upon every problem that forces us to greater consciousness and separates us even further from the paradise of unconscious childhood. Every one of us gladly turns away from his problems; if possible, they must not be mentioned, or, better still, their existence is denied. We wish to make our lives simple, certain, and smooth, and for that reason problems are taboo. We want to have certainties and no doubts—results and no experiments—without even seeing that certainties can arise only through doubt and results only through experiment. The artful denial of a problem will not produce conviction; on the contrary, a wider and higher consciousness is required to give us the certainty and clarity we need.
My underline.

Where Jung is saying here is that Genesis, our "creation myth," and, for that matter any creation myth, treats the coming of consciousness as a curse. Consciousness is a relative new comer. Like you I have never had dreams with the contents described in some Jungian literature. However, I am convinced that my dreams and visions are every bit as symbolic.
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